MAC: Mines and Communities

Arroyo Family Virtually Controls Mining Industry

Published by MAC on 2007-08-01
Source: Kalikasan-PNE

Arroyo family virtually controls mining industry

Kalikasan-PNE Press Release

1st August 2007

Something fishy with two Arroyos in control of DENR corporate arm and Congress committee on natural resources! – Kalikasan PNE

There's a glaring conflict of interest in how two Arroyos have grabbed control over the both the Congressional Committee on Natural Resources and the Philippine Mining Development Corporation (PDMC), a leader from environmental activist organization Kalikasan Peoples Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) said.

"While Pres. Gloria Arroyo's brother-in-law Ignacio "Iggy" Arroyo holds control over the House Committee on Natural Resources, no less than the President herself is in direct control over the affairs and decisions of the PDMC, the DENR's corporate arm," Clemente Bautista, Kalikasan PNE National Coordinator, said.

Last week, Pres. Arroyo issued Executive Order 636, transferring the PDMC from the DENR's authority to directly under the Office of the President. The PMDC is the environment department's corporate arm tasked with exploring, developing, mining, smelting and producing all kinds of mineral deposits and resources.

"These combined developments are setting a dangerous precedent for environmental policy. It only further erodes the existing government mechanisms for checks and balances," Bautista said.

"This also poses drastic implications for the mining sector. The Arroyo family will virtually hold control over the mining industry with this move," Bautista stressed.

"There is a blatant conflict of interest with Pres. Arroyo's assumption of control over the PDMC, which will oversee mining development and the approval of new mining projects, and Rep. Arroyo's chairing of the House Committee which is tasked to investigate problems related to our environment and natural resources, many of which are related to previous, current and future mining projects in the country," Bautista said.

"This lethal combination will practically guarantee more foreign mining giants more access to our lands and mineral reserves," Bautista said.

"Pres. Arroyo can just approve mining contracts left and right with the PDMC under her control, while Rep. Arroyo can very easily block calls for Congressional probes into mining-related environmental disasters or mining deals that may be anomalous, dangerous, and plunderous by virtue of his position," Bautista said. ###

Reference: Clemente Bautista, Jr. Kalikasan-PNE National Coordinator (0922-844-9787).

national coordinator
Kalikasan-People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy, Central, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756 Fax No. +63-2-9209099
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